Dear USTR: Want Other Countries To Sign Your Trade Agreements? Stop Letting Hollywood Write Them

from the just-saying dept

With more and more countries in the EU backing away from signing ACTA, and even the EU Parliament's president speaking out against it, it's raising serious questions about the ability to get the EU signed on to ACTA.

Harold Feld, over at Public Knowledge, has published something of an open letter to the USTR suggesting that, just maybe, if it stopped letting Hollywood lobbyists drive the agenda for their international trade agreements, such agreements wouldn't be chock full of crazy -- and might result in an agreement that countries actually want to sign.
So let me give USTR and the non-Hollywood industries involved right now in negotiating trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) another spot of free advice. (I won't even try to suggest this to Hollywood, given they are still in denial there was ever anything wrong with SOPA.) Do not let hollywood hijack your trade negotiations to put in even crazier stuff no one in the world likes, wants, or will sign on to. I know Hollywood has probably already been pushing for plenty of crazy stuff and doing crazy things like saying Canada's not moral enough to join you all on the Group W Bench at the TPPA negotiations. But it is never too late to take them aside and talk some sense into them. You can point out that we now have yet-another-study from academics rather than paid industry flunkies showing that peer-2-peer piracy has little impact on U.S. box office revenue and that Hollywood could do a lot to cut down on international piracy by making content available (for a fee) in a time and manner that customers want rather than insisting on an out-dated, complex "release windows" system developed in the old days when folks either went to theaters or waited 'til it showed up on DVD. So perhaps Hollywood should ratchet back the crazy stuff, or risk getting cut out of the negotiations entirely so every one else can get a trade agreement done?
It's such sensible advice that it'll never happen.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:26pm

    Once again Mike criticizes and offers no solution.

    So, tell us, Mike, who is better qualified to write legislation to benefit Hollywood?

     

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  2.  
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    Jeremy2020 (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    Re:

    There was a solution offered. It's been offered many times:

    "Hollywood could do a lot to cut down on international piracy by making content available (for a fee) in a time and manner that customers want"

    Also, legislation isn't supposed to benefit hollywood. It's supposed to benefit everyone in the country.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

    Re:

    To benefit Hollywood? You mean content creators, or content owners?

    And why specifically Hollywood?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    Also, the majority of this article is written by Harold Feld.

     

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  5.  
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    Bennett (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Re:

    Naturally this comes from an AC!

    As Jeremy2020 pointed out, the solution has been offered many times. Furthermore the technology required to implement these solutions exists in many forms.

    There is of course the super famous 'reddit'/steam solution:
    http://www.techedon.com/2012/02/02/video/media-hollywoods-piracy-problem-solved-solidwhet stones-reddit-post/

    People obviously want to access content. Perhaps (as has also been mentioned MANY times) Hollywood could actually provide people with access to this content.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Re:

    Why should there be legislation that benefits any business or even industry?

    Legislation should be written to benefit the people, not companies. Legislators should be responsible to their constituency, not the biggest payoff.

    See that? You tried to troll, but you defined the problem instead.

     

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  7.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:45pm

    Re:

    Why should we write legislation to benefit any business?

    Free Market dictates that if you can't compete, you die.

    Also...

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-common-anti-internet-arguments-that-are-statistical ly-bs/

    Read that. Notice the part about "individual sales" are taking us BACK to the golden age of 70 years ago when you could buy singles for cheap.

    Also, notice how he mentions that there are people who put their books on the internet, for FREE, so people would buy them...

    If Book authors are willing to change with the times...

    Why won't Hollywood, the MPAA and RIAA change with the times?

     

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  8.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    Re:

    Given that RedBox is willing to go to court to help Warner Brothers, and given that Hollywood's overreach with SOPA/PIPA caused protests in Europe over ACTA as well as a call for a boycot for the entire month of March, I'd say Hollywood is not qualified to write legislation for Hollywood. I know that doesn't offer suggestions for who is the most qualified, but it certainly starts a process of elimination for who is not qualified, and that is sometimes useful.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    I wonder if Hollywood, MPAA, RIAA and the rest realize that they're creating entire generations that LOATHES them? And that loathing won't go away as they get older. US car manufacturers admit that some of the cost-cutting crap they sold created generations of people who won't even consider any of their products.

     

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  10.  
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    Benjo (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Re:

    "So, tell us, Mike, who is better qualified to write legislation to benefit Hollywood?"

    Implied are so many things, like Hollywood needing beneficial legislation, or that the legislation they have lobbied for/written already has actually benefited their industry.

    I think you're slipping.

     

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  11.  
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    Benjo (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Re:

    book authors aren't changing fast enough. The huge publishers will probably die faster than the big studios and record labels.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymoose Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

    Re:

    There is no one more qualified to write legislation to benefit hollywood than hollywood. Just like there is no one more qualified to write legislation to benefit child pornographers than child pornographers.

     

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  13.  
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    MadCow (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re:

    We don't NEED people (ANYONE) writing legislation for ANY content owners/creators/sellers/copiers/etc...

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    Re:

    "Once again Mike criticizes and offers no solution."

    You'll see the solution in the post, once you choose to see it, and no im trying to sprout some proverbs here, i mean literally, read the post again, or for the first time, whatever

    Im surprised you didnt put "First" in you're post, it seemed.........appropriate

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    Yeah. Those of us who were remember Napster have watched watched the RIAA sue old ladies and dead people. We've watched innocent lives been ruined for nothing more than downloading a few songs. We've heard the stories how they fuck their own artists and witnessed their despicable influence peddling in Washington.

    And they wonder why younger people hate them and despise the laws they bought.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    Just here to give support on your post, +1

    Mike you need to add plus and minus's to the comments section, to many times ive come across a comment, that pretty much reflects my line of thinking, and no method to show support by numbers

     

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  17.  
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    Trails (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

    Re:

    Successful troll is successful. Well played, sir or madam.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:26pm

    Re:

    ...and I am one of them that will never again buy an American car. I simply want value for the money paid. In the 80's cars were being sold that the molding was falling off of in 6 months. They couldn't be repaired, even at the dealership. Nor did they last for 10 years or so.

    I bought my last new vehicle in 95. I'm still driving it and having no troubles at all with it. It's a Nissan Pickup.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

    Re:

    Of course they won't.

    They won't see it until the day that foreign music and movies surpasses domestic movies and music.

    I, for one, welcome the onslaught of more anime music and movies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    Re:

    Why should any legislation benefit Hollywood?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

    ...like saying Canada's not moral enough to join you all on the Group W Bench...


    +100 interwebz to Harold Feld for the Alice's Restaurant reference.

    The basic message behind that song seems relevant to current events.

    ....And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement....

     

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  22.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

    Re:

    Oops. Operator error.

    This is the Alice's Restaurant link.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hey, even if huge publishers die off, that doesn't mean the end of the book industry.

    So long as writers continue to write, there will be books.

     

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  24.  
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    Violated (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 6:50pm

    F OFF Hollywood

    This does make a good point when we have now established a road block to stop any further bad Hollywood creations passing.

    SOPA = Dead and buried.
    PIPA = Knocked into a coma.
    ACTA = Having its limbs pulled off and soon dead.

    So their key aim should not be a list of nasty new surprises but to actually write a trade agreement that the public will accept. Removing Internet attacks would be a good start.

    However, if they go and throw another ACTA at us, then we will only blow it out the water. This would then waste all their time and money but we would not shed any tears.

     

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  25.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:22pm

    Re: F OFF Hollywood

    We actually need to reset copyright in the US to back when it was 1 term with 1 extension and needed to be paid for and registered.

    The term should be shorter than before as payment to society for stealing our public domain.

     

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  26.  
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    nasch (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Click "Insightful". It won't show numbers, but your vote will count.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 12:31am

    Re:

    WTF? The solution was and has been provided; "Hollywood could do a lot to cut down on international piracy by making content available (for a fee) in a time and manner that customers want." It's like you don't comprehend what you read, or more likely, you don't even bother mouthing the words you read because you're too busy trying to breath through your pie hole.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:35am

    Re: Re:

    Sufficiently advanced shilling is indistinguishable from grooming.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:43am

    Re: Re: F OFF Hollywood

    First you need to make it appealing for that to happen.
    End copyrights and those terms will be very appealing for people who don't have a monopoly anymore.

     

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  30.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:00am

    Re: Re:

    mmm. though the only real difference there is that the product quality is higher. the business quality is often the same 'screw the customers' arrangement.

     

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  31.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:02am

    Re: Re: Re: F OFF Hollywood

    well, yes, but at that point, why bother bringing them back at all?

     

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  32.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:38am

    Re: Re: Re: F OFF Hollywood

    Tell them if they don't agree, we'll tax them, as corporation/people, into oblivion?

    And when other corporations ask why, point them at Hollywood.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    BrandShout, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:49am

    Supporting the protests with free Tshirts

    Hey,
    At our company we've organized a small campaign against ACTA and we're willing to offer 50 free Tshirts printed with the best message we

    can find and ship them to be used at local protests. If you have an idea of a clever design or text please share it with us, here you can

    find more details: http://www.brandshout.net/opportunities/stop-acta-campaign/
    Cheers!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Walks-In-Storms, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:17am

    "Hollywood" (reality according to, that is)

    Don't hold your breath - until Hollywood (and television) stops being American's version of brains and thought. Have you been watching (I've long since worn out the remote - dodging commercials and the latest news on Michael Jackson) the media orgy surrounding Whitney Houston's suicide?

    We live in a reality constructed by Hollywood and made for television, my friend - not the real one out there in the woods where I come from.

    "'Contrariwise,' said Tweedldee, 'if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't it ain't. That's logic.'" (Lewis Carroll).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:57am

    Re:

    Wow... so many people didn't get the irony. It's kind of sad :(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    bratwurzt (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re:

    I think it was sarcasm. Actually I hope it was - trolls can't be that stupid...can they?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    bratwurzt (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re:

    yeah... Lars Urlich and Metallica before and after Napster... :>

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:01am

    As soon as the guy starts to go on about "flunkies" he pretty much lost all the credibility.

    This actually reads like something Glyn would post, another feeble attempt to justify widespread piracy. It's a failure from end to end.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:05am

    Re "peer-2-peer piracy has little impact on U.S. box office revenue" cited by Mr. Feld at PK in his letter, an author of the paper is already on record stating that the study results are being misrepresented by persons and groups trying to use it to support the view that piracy is not hurtful. The author asserts that the results of the study conducted by he and his co-author did find financial harm.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    John Nemesh, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:23am

    Re:

    Hollywood wouldnt NEED legislation, if they simply adapted to the reality of doing business on the internet! If they offered their PATHETIC DRIVEL at a reasonable price, and made using THEIR websites as intuitive and easy as some "pirate" sites, they would be able to collect a revenue stream instead of trying to criminalize the consumption of their goods!

     

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  41.  
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    Magicl1, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:54am

    Alice's Restaurant

    It really lives, Lives, LIVES !!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    mahiosk, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 2:15am

    Blog comment

    Great news. The easier it is to get support from Google,
    the more success Google and partners will have in adopting Google Apps.
    We’re loving it.http://www.blackcloudnetworks.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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